Sunday, September 23, 2012

THE LADY RISKS ALL by Stephanie Laurens

Publisher:   Avon
Date published:  September 25, 2012
ISBN:  978-0062068637
Genre:   Historical Romance
Book format:  Paperback
Obtained via: Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina

Twelve years ago Lord Julian Roscoe Neville Delbraith walked away from a life of privilege. Oh granted, Lord Julian was known as a wastrel, deemed beyond redemption. But Julian had a secret life and with his disappearance, more fully embraced that life.

Neville Roscoe is known as the Gambling King. Rich beyond compare he runs the most elite of London’s gambling dens. Unbeknown to his patrons, he also engages in other activities that aid the poorest of the poor. He is loyal to his friends and those who move in a close-knit circle that surrounds him.
Miranda Clifford is more or less on the shelf.  At twenty-nine she is past time that most men would seek her in marriage.  Living with her elderly aunt and brother, Roderick, she enjoys the fortune left by her father to her. When Roderick is kidnapped Miranda turns to the one man who may perhaps help her rescue her brother. Roscoe is ready to help his friend, Roderick, but prefers to do so without Miranda by his side. Miranda, however, has something else in mind and insists on accompanying Roscoe. While he reluctantly agrees, he soon finds himself drawn to Miranda. Bit by bit his carefully built façade begins to crumble and he must trust Miranda not to give away his past and true identity while at the same time is determined to keep her safe.

Hot on the trail of Roderick’s kidnappers Miranda and Roscoe are confronted with not only deadly miscreants but their own growing feelings for each other.

I struggled with the first few chapters of Stephanie Laurens’s THE LADY RISKS ALL because they seemed to be mainly third person narrative.  The mention of Miranda’s age -- by her and others -- appears fairly frequently and becomes old news.  I felt there were other phrases that could have been used to remind readers of her age.  There were long passages of narrative throughout that were interesting but I didn't feel moved the story along. 

That said there are elements I found appealing.  For a true Regency aficionado the book will probably fall short. Except for the use of the word "ton" and a couple of others it could take place in any time period. I feel that can, however, work in the book's favor because it can be relevant to any time period.  Even in today's era of cell phones and internet the surprising twist at the end could still work really well.  Even readers who are not Regency fans will enjoy the romance in the story and it can transcend pretty much any time period and lends itself strongly to contemporary. 

Additionally there is a solid mystery to be solved.  Fans of cozy mysteries would certainly enjoy that aspect of the story and might bring them across the line to romance.  In fact, it was some of the mysteries I saw in my favorite romances that got me deep into reading cozies.

I have not read the two books that initially introduce Roscoe.  But I didn't feel I needed to in order to come up to speed on him.  I did like the tease that perhaps whatever it was secondary character Sarah did before she met Roderick just might lead to their story in more depth.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.


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